We’ve waited ten long weeks since the beginning of this season of Dancing with the Stars, but the wait is finally over.  Notwithstanding last night’s mediocre performance show, this fifth season of Dancing with the Stars has arguably been the most exciting.  The celebrity stars have suffered family losses and fainting spells.  Frontrunner Sabrina Bryan was eliminated during week six, leaving the field wide open for the remaining contenders.  The judges have tossed around triple tens like confetti at a wedding.

And tonight, it’ll all end.  In just two short hours, we’ll find out which couple will win the Dancing with the Stars mirror ball trophy and bragging rights.  Keep checking back while I keep you up to date during tonight’s two-hour finale.

First, we recap last night’s performance show.  We are reminded of how much of a horndog Bruno is.  The judges complimented Marie on her entertaining quality, but were mostly disappointed.  They were also disappointed in Helio’s jive technique.  The judges didn’t like Mel’s freestyle and really didn’t like Marie’s.  They loved Helio’s and thought his freestyle was the best mix of technique and choreography.

Samantha Harris is backstage with the three remaining couples.  Marie is going to miss the friends she’s made, Mel is going to miss the cast and crew of Dancing with the Stars, and Helio is going to miss Julianne.  Mel interrupts him, and everyone cracks up.

Tonight’s musical performer is Celine Dion and, of course, she sings “My Heart Will Go On.”  My college roommate during my sophomore year played this song on repeat after watching Titanic for two months straight.  Needless to say, we weren’t the best of friends after that year.

It’s time to announce the first result of the night.  Samantha and Tom go through the usual rigmarole before revealing the couple who came in third place.  That couple is Marie and Jonathan.  Phew, good thing I revised my prediction, eh?  I’m glad to see that the voters finally agree with the judges.  Marie makes a joke, calling the judges her ugly step-sisters, and her voice chokes a bit.  For their last dance of the season, Marie and Jonathan dance the tango.

Now, we take a look at the other contenders from the season, including Jennie Garth’s spill.  Josie Maran and Alec Mazo come back to perform a foxtrot.  It’s not terrible, but after watching Mel and Maks all these weeks, I can only muster up a small yawn.

Because we have two whole hours to fill, but only two remaining couples, you can be sure that tonight will feature a lot of pointless filler.  Tonight’s filler includes “humorous” clips of Marie and Jonathan.  Mel and Maks’ clips are actually mildly entertaining as Mel does her very best Borat impression and Maks belches non-stop.

The next couple to perform are Albert Reed and Anna Trebunskaya, who were eliminated in week two.  Their performance is slightly less bland than Albert’s Abercrombie & Fitch-appropriate appearance.

Samantha and Tom remind us how the women dominated the men this season, prompting Maks to take off his shirt.  There are also clips of Carrie Ann scrutinizing everyone’s illegal lifts.

The third eliminated couple to appear are Wayne Newton and Cheryl Burke, but Wayne is suffering from health problems which prevent him from dancing tonight.  He’ll be dancing on the tour, though.  Floyd Mayweather and Karina Smirnoff join Tom and Samantha onstage, but they are not going to dance either because Floyd is training for a big fight in a week and a half.

Mark Cuban and Kym Johnson perform next.  He’s still a big dork.  I’m just waiting for Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas to come back.

Now for more clips from the season.  First, we see all of the sexy moments between the partners, and then we oddly segue into Marie’s fainting.  We are reminded of  Sabrina’s premature elimination.  They’re not in the final two, but at least they come back tonight to dance another cha cha.  So awesome!  How I wish the finals were between Sabrina and Mel.

Samantha interviews former Dancing with the Stars champions Apolo Anton Ohno and Drew Lachey on their impressions of this season.  Drew does a pretty good impression of Len saying, “This is the best season yet!” and Apolo is just adorable.

We have reached the half-way point in tonight’s broadcast, and now it’s time for Jane Seymour and Tony Dovolani dancing the Viennese waltz.  This time, they are not being critiqued, so they are free to do all the lifts they want.  I’ve forgotten how elegant Jane is, and it’s great to see her again on the dance floor.

Cameron Mathison and Edyta Sliwinska reprise their Superman paso doble.  Yay!  This was probably one of my favorite routines from the whole season.  I’ve always been a big Edyta fan, and it’s nice to see Cameron again too.  Can I just say one more time how hot these two are?  These two are hot.  Before exiting the stage, Cameron takes off his shirt and tosses it to Samantha, causing the female audience to erupt in cheers.  Mark Cuban gives him his tux jacket to cover up his hotness, and Tom Bergeron is clearly distracted by all the screaming going on and loses his train of thought.

The commercial break begins with an extended plug for Carrie Ann and Bruno’s new show Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann, which will be hosted by Drew Lachey.

Jennie Garth and Derek are back to do their mambo.  Yay, Jennie and Derek are adorable together, and I really like their routine.  I love how Derek never tucks in his shirt.  They are the last eliminated couple to perform, but we still have 45 minutes left of the broadcast.  How are they possibly going to fill the time?  Of course, Celine is back, performing “Taking Chances.”  Instead of dancers accompanying her song, clips from the past season’s performances are shown on the screen.

We now watch an extended montage showing Helio and Mel.  They are fearsome competitors and Mel ends the montage by jabbing her finger at the confessional cam and says, “Helio, may the best girl win.”  Ha!

The time has come for Mel’s and Helio’s final performances.  The stage is filled with fog and the dramatic opening bars of Also Sprach Zarathustra fill the auditorium.  Mel and Maks are first to dance.  They get to choose their favorite routine, and Mel insists on the mambo.  While they’re talking to the camera, Maks has this striped thing on his head.  It’s not really a hat; it looks like a legwarmer.

Their mambo starts and I immediately love Mel’s hip action.  She really holds her own when she dances the same steps in unison with Maks.  The routine is fun, it has humor, and it is excellently performed.  Maks ends by giving Mel three kisses on the cheek.  Len starts the judges’ critiques by calling her a revelation and her mambo incredible.  Bruno also raves, and Carrie Ann screeches her approval.  The judges’ scores tonight will be combined with their scores from last night and with the votes from last night to determine the winner.  The judges scores are: tens all around!  Mel ends her season with a 30 out of 30!  That means that her total score from the judges is 85 out of 90.  Not too shabby.

It’s Helio and Julianne’s turn.  They decide to do the quickstep for their last dance.  Helio doesn’t want to add a lift to their routine because they got a perfect score on it before.  Helio’s wearing his yellow suit again for this dance.  They do an excellent job on it, but I think Mel’s performance was better.  Once again, Helio ends the routine by giving Julianne a huge kiss.  Bruno calls Helio the sunny side of life.  Carrie Ann says once again that their quickstep is her favorite dance.  Len commends Helio on his risk-taking, but spends more time complimenting Julianne’s choreography and the Dancing with the Stars house band.  The  judges each give Helio tens, which means that their total score from the judges is 84 out of 90.  Helio and Mel and neck-and-neck, so it’s all up to last night’s voters.  I really don’t know what is going to happen.

The waning moments of tonight’s finale is now upon us.  But there are still six minutes left to the program, so we have to endure some more moments of confessionals.  Finally, the time is now.  The new champions of Dancing with the Stars are Helio and Julianne!  This is Julianne’s second win.  Tom presents Helio with the mirror ball trophy as confetti falls from the ceiling.

-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)

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Staff Writer, BuddyTV